Becoming a power user of Google AdWords should be your goal; no other platform has the reach and online marketing potential that AdWords has, so take the time to learn this system. Each individual ad is grouped within Ad Groups, which are then grouped into Campaigns within Google AdWords. Here we will talk about getting started with Google AdWords on your first campaign.
1. Sign up for AdWords
If you have a Google account already (recommended), point your browser to http://adwords.google.com and sign up for a free AdWords account. You will need to add a payment source (most likely a credit card) here before any ads can go live.
2. Choose the location of your campaign
Even if your product can be sold worldwide, it is not a good idea to market to a global audience just yet. Different locations will require different marketing strategies, specific language, and a host of other planning and preparations to maximise your ROI. Choose a specific location for your first campaign; say your city, or broader region.
3. Which Search Networks?
Google runs a variety of search networks on which you can advertise your business. For now we want to focus purely on Google Search; the other networks may be interesting in future but will require different, tailored strategies for each to ensure the best ROI from your campaigns.
4. Rotating Ads
Google allows you to rotate between different ads to see which ad formats and headlines get the best results. Left on default settings, Google will then show the most effective ads more often, leaving you with a less than accurate test. You should be the one in charge of which ads are displayed, and how much you are spending. Amend these rotation settings so that Google shows each of your ads in an even rotation, allowing you to test and make the decisions about which ads to keep and which to discard.
5. Set up your campaign
1. Click on the red +Campaign button in the Campaigns section of your AdWords dashboard.
2. Select Search Network only, and leave it on “Standard” as we will be setting up text ads only at this stage. Deselect “Include Search Partners” below as well.
3. Choose your location as mentioned above; keep it small to begin with. Select the language of your target customers; you may want to start with English on you first campaign.
4. Select “I’ll manually set by bids for clicks”, which allows you to set the prices for your ads (not Google). Set a low default bid, say the equivalent of US$0.15 in your home currency, and a maximum daily budget. This is usually spread out over a month, so make sure you can afford your monthly budget (31x this daily number). Start with a low number for this first campaign, say US$5 per day, to test the results before committing further.
5. Enable Sitelinks under Ad Extensions, which displays extra links to different pages on your website (About Us page, other popular pages with your visitors), and is generally seen as good practice among AdWords advertisers. You can choose up to four sitelinks to include here.
6. Turn off display ads on mobile for now; we want to focus this campaign for desktop users at this stage. If your site is not entirely mobile ready, advertising to mobile devices might be an unnecessary waste of money.
7. Save these settings and continue. Google will prompt you to create your first ad here, which you can go ahead and do quickly with some simple text. We will come back and alter this shortly. Enter your primary keyword in the keyword box, and set a Cost Per Click (CPC). To do this, click on Estimate Search Traffic and choose a number below the lowest estimate; it’s better to be lower than higher at this stage. If you haven’t already added your payment and billing details, Google will prompt you to do this here.
8. Your campaign is live! But hold on, you don’t want it to be live yet, so click on Campaigns and pause your new campaign for the time being. It will be inactive until you enable it again, but in the meantime you will want to set up more Ad Groups and fine tune your ad copy.